Multi-Objective Optimization for the Geometry of Trapezoidal Corrugated Morphing Skins

I Dayyani (Cranfield University) & MI Friswell (Swansea University)

Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, Vol. 55, No. 1, January 2017, pp. 331-345


Morphing concepts have great importance for the design of future aircraft as they provide the opportunity for the aircraft to adapt their shape in flight so as to always match the optimal configuration. This enables the aircraft to have a better performance, such as reducing fuel consumption, toxic emissions and noise pollution or increasing the maneuverability of the aircraft. However the requirements of morphing aircraft are conflicting from the structural perspective. For instance the design of a morphing skin is a key issue since it must be stiff to withstand the aerodynamic loads, but flexible to enable the large shape changes. Corrugated sheets have remarkable anisotropic characteristics. As a candidate skin for a morphing wing, they are stiff to withstand the aerodynamic loads and flexible to enable the morphing deformations.

This work presents novel insights into the multi-objective optimization of a trapezoidal corrugated core with elastomer coating. The geometric parameters of the coated composite corrugated panels are optimized to minimize the in-plane stiffness and the weight of the skin and to maximize the flexural out-of-plane stiffness of the skin. These objective functions were calculated by use of an equivalent finite element code. The gradient-based aggregate method is selected to solve the optimization problem and is validated by comparing to the GA multi-objective optimization technique. The trend of the optimized objectives and parameters are discussed in detail; for example the optimum corrugation often has the maximum corrugation height. The obtained results provide important insights into the design of morphing corrugated skins.

Paper Availability

This material has been published in the Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization, Vol. 55, No. 1, January 2017, pp. 331-345, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. The paper is published as open access.

Link to paper using doi: 10.1007/s00158-016-1476-4

Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization